What is the Difference Between Collagen Protein and Whey Protein?


There are different types of protein supplements currently available in the market… and it can get very confusing trying to choose the perfect one. Here we’ll talk about the difference of two of the most popular protein sources: whey and collagen.

What is Whey Protein? 

Milk contains two types of protein: casein and whey. Most whey protein in the market is derived from cheese-making. When cheese is produced, the fatty portion solidifies, and whey is therefore separated as a byproduct. After separating, whey goes through multiple processing steps before being considered whey protein.

 

Whey protein is a complete protein source, meaning that it contains all the essential and non-essential amino acids your body needs. Whey protein is considered a high quality, well-absorbed source of protein that is extremely versatile in the way it can be consumed.


Whey protein is available in the following forms: 

• Whey isolate: most of the fat and lactose have been removed to form a highly concentrated form of protein, containing about 90-95%

• Whey concentrate: has had much of the fat and lactose removed, but contains from 70-80% of protein

• Whey hydrolysate: considered “predigested” as the digestion process has already begun, making it easier to absorb

Benefits of Whey Protein 

Whey protein has some of the highest biological values, meaning that the amino acids found within it are mostly used by the body that other proteins. What this basically means is that the protein you are consuming is efficiently being utilized by your body.

Whey protein helps increase muscle mass and strength. Three of the essential amino acids present in whey protein are the Branched Chained Amino Acids Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine, all of which are vital when building muscle. Whey’s role in muscle building is what makes it so popular amongst athletes and bodybuilders. Additionally, since whey is also high in leucine, it helps stimulate protein synthesis and helps increase the release of insulin, resulting in muscle growth.
Studies have shown that whey protein may help reduce blood pressure in people with elevated blood pressure thanks in part by its bioactive peptide called lactokinins. Whey protein can also help suppress appetite and can help decrease the amount of food individuals consume. Studies demonstrate how regular consumption of whey protein leads to less overeating in subsequent meals.

Drawbacks of Whey Protein

Whey protein has some notable drawbacks, the main one being digestive issues. Since lactose is the main carb in whey protein, those with lactose intolerance can experience uncomfortable digestive symptoms such as diarrhea, bloating, gas, and stomach cramps. Additionally, whey protein can destabilize the gut bacteria and cause issues in the gut flora. This is due to an antibacterial compound found in whey that may lead to gastrointestinal issues and stomach upset.

Whey Protein may also lead to excessive fat gain. Some whey protein supplements have excess carbohydrates in the form of sugars and fats. Additionally, whey protein in combination with overeating can cause an individual to gain weight.
Some studies also show what whey protein can lead to the development of acne, since milk and dairy products are enhancers of insulin growth factor leading to acne aggravation.

What is Collagen Protein?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body; it is found in our bones, skin, ligaments, tendons, tissues, and muscles. Collagen is known as the glue that holds our bodies together; in fact, the word collagen comes from the Greek word “kola”, which means glue.
Although our bodies naturally produce collagen, production starts to decline after our twenties. This is when we start to experience fine lines and wrinkles, dry skin, and achy joints.
Most collagen in supplements come from the bones, skin, and connective tissue of animals, including pigs, fish, and cattle. Plants do not produce collagen; you can only obtain it from animal sources. Aside from supplements, collagen can also be obtained from foods, specifically from bone broth.

Benefits of Collagen Protein

Collagen is popularly known as the “Fountain of Youth” because of its positive effect in the appearance of hair, skin, and nails. Collagen is key in producing hydrated, elastic, and moisturized skin and its consumption is beneficial for the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles. Collagen promotes strong and healthy hair and can also reduce the frequency of brittle nails.

Another common reason why individuals consume collagen is because it can help improve joint health. Studies show that collagen is crucial to reduce swollen joints and joint tenderness. Collagen helps maintain the integrity of your cartilage, which is the rubber-like tissue that protects your joints. And, since collagen is a key structural component of the cartilage, maintaining sufficient levels if essential for keeping joints healthy.

Collagen can also help prevent bone loss. As we age, our bone mass deteriorates just as our collagen does too. This may lead to conditions such as osteoporosis, which is characterized by low bone density and linked with a higher risk of bone fractures. Consuming collagen supplements may help reduce the risk of bone disorders and may help lower levels of proteins in the blood that stimulate bone breakdown.

Collagen is also beneficial for digestion and gut health. Collagen contains Glycine, Glutamine, and Proline, amino acids that help with gut and digestion. This combination can help the stomach absorb nutrients, prevent inflammation in the intestinal lining, increase metabolism, and support digestive health.

Drawbacks of Collagen Protein

Collagen is not a complete protein source: Collagen only contains 8 of the 9 essential amino acids. (Nonetheless, this is why we added the additional amino acid into our Collagen Protein product formulation, to ensure that our consumer was receiving all essential and non-essential amino acids and enjoying its full benefits). Note that, although our collagen protein is a complete protein source, not all collagen products are. Another drawback is that, since most collagen supplements are created from animal sources, individuals with allergies to shellfish or eggs may experience an allergic reaction.

Takeaway 

Both protein sources have their benefits and drawbacks. At the end of the day, the best thing you could do is try both and see how your body responds. Good thing about it is that you can also take both and complement! Nonetheless, our protein pick is certainly collagen protein. Our organization has been formulating collagen protein for over 20 years because it’s rapidly absorbed, better for digestion, and easily tolerated by the vast majority. Although collagen is not a complete protein source, our collagen formulation does have the added amino acids, which makes it a complete protein source with all essential and non-essential amino acids.
If you’re ready to try collagen protein, click the products below to get started!


References:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S095869461000141X

http://darwinian-medicine.com/10-reasons-why-you-shouldnt-use-whey-protein-supplements/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5793325/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4293047/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5350548/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22988649

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4594048/

https://www.today.com/health/what-whey-protein-benefits-dangers-t152033